In December 2012 the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP - 自民党 ) decisively won the Lower House ( 衆議院 ) elections for the national Diet ( 国会 ) , securing 294 out of the 480 seats. Between its MPs, and the 31 MPs of its coalitional partner, the New Komeito Party ( 公明党 ), Abe Shinzo’s government commanded a comfortable majority of just over 2/3 of the Lower House. In subsequent elections for the Upper House ( 参議院 ) in July 2013 LDP gained 114 seats, and the New Komeito Party – 20. All in all, this is a very strong majority, which can guarantee a comfortable governing of Abe’s cabinet. Why then last week the Prime Minister called snap elections for the Lower House – an act that defies the normal logic of democratic governance? There are two competing, albeit not mutually exclusive explanations.